Cut phone cable strands west Steamboat Springs

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A cut cable knocked out telephone service Friday for businesses and residents in western Steamboat Springs, including the Routt County Communication Center.

For about an hour and a half Friday afternoon, the Routt County Communication Center lost its telephone lines.

Because of the service loss, Routt County Communication Director Janice Ling transferred the county's emergency 911 line to the Craig Communication Center.

"Thank goodness we got back up and running," Ling said.

Impacted for the 90 minutes were the center's telephone lines for business calls, Ling said.

"Our emergency lines were operating," she said.

Residents and businesses in the area could not receive calls or call out because of a cut cable, a Qwest repair technician said.

The employee, who refused to give his name, said the company had workers fixing the problem immediately.

"Some people's service may be restored earlier than others," he said.

Businesses in the area handled the situation differently.

Sears at 1855 Shield Drive closed early for the day. A yellow sign was taped to the front door explaining the business had closed because the telephone was not working, making the register inoperable.

Next door, Olivia's Home Furnishing stayed open but was inconvenienced because patrons could not use credit cards for purchases.

At Ace Hardware, 1901 Shield Drive, employees and patrons were also inconvenienced.

Because the cash register was not working, employees had to write down every sale, causing long lines at the store. "It was basic chaos," said one Ace employee.

Phone service was restored by late afternoon.

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